Oral Cancer (also know as Mouth Cancer) is increasing in occurrence worldwide.
Most cases are diagnosed in people over the age of 50. In this blog post we want to help give you the signs and symptoms as well as how to reduce the risk of oral cancer.
Oral Cancer can develop in any part of the mouth including places you don’t normally see (tonsils, Uvula, back of throat) so it is recommended you get regular checkup with a Dentist or Dental hygienist who can thoroughly inspect your mouth.
What should I be looking for?
As well as the symptoms below if you feel anything unusual or are concerned please go and see a medical professional promptly.
An ulcer or sore in your mouth or on your tongue that lasts longer than 3 weeks
an unexplained lump in your neck
a lump on your lip or in your mouth
Red or Red and white patch in your mouth
It probably won’t be oral cancer but if it is getting diagnosed and treated at an early stage could make all the difference. get to know what is normal for you, and tell your doctor/dentist if you notice any changes that are unusual or don’t go away.
Regular visits to the dentist are highly recommended even if you have false teeth. they can easily check the areas you cannot see. Ask your dentist/dental hygienist if they are looking for signs of cancer especially if you are over 50, smoke or chew tobacco or drink alcohol regularly.
How do I reduce the risk of oral cancel?
Stop Smoking or chewing tobacco
An obvious one but often difficult for individuals as nicotine is a highly addictive substance, seek as much support from friends, family, colleagues and professionals. Often the hardest part is the habit and association try to remove those occasions from your routine to help improve your success.
Drink less alcohol
Again another difficult one when we have such a ubiquitous relationship with alcohol in our societies worldwide, again support from your networks will assist.
HPV (human Papillomavirus) infection
HPV infection increases the risks of some types of mouth and upper throat cancers. HPV is very common and usually clears up on its own. It can be passed on through close skin-to-skin-contact, usually during sex. Talk to your health professional about screening (only available to women) and treatment options.